Medical Experts Want You To Think About Advanced Care Planning Options

Essentia Health allows patients to complete a directive plan online through a MyHealth account.

DULUTH, Minn. – With Thanksgiving around the corner, medial experts want you to bring something else to the table.

The conversation of advanced care planning, which may cause fear in some, but it’s an important topic to discuss.

“When these conversations don’t happen and the patient expires families never talk to each other ever again, because people in the family felt differently, so that’s avoidable,” said Essentia Health Advance Care Planning Director Jonathan Sande, MD.

Essentia Health and St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth are working to develop a community wide initiative. The goal is to help people plan the type of care they would like if they become seriously ill, injured, or unable to speak for themselves.

This affects everyone from the young and healthy to those with chronic medical conditions or terminal illnesses. The hope it to make this conversation the norm.

“The patients say what a gift it’s been for them to be able to have this conversation with their loved ones and their loved ones understand what a gift this is if they are put in a difficult situation, because they understand what the patient wants instead of having to guess,” said Sande.

Once a plan is in place experts advise changing it any time there’s a death of a loved one, divorce, diagnosis or decline of a health condition or a new decade of life begins.

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